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The Senedd also known as the National Assembly building, houses the debating chamber and three committee rooms for the National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs...

 in Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

. The 5308 square metres (57,134.8 sq ft) Senedd building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 1 March 2006 and the total cost was £69.6 million, which included £49.7M in construction costs. The Senedd is part of the National Assembly estate that includes Tŷ Hywel and the Pierhead Building
Pierhead Building
The Pierhead Building is a Grade 1 listed building of the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff Bay, Wales. It stands as one of the city of Cardiff's most familiar landmarks and was built in 1897 as the headquarters for the Bute Dock Company....

.

After two selection processes, the decision was taken that the debating chamber would be on a new site, called Site 1E, at Capital Waterside in Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay is the area created by the Cardiff Barrage in South Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The regeneration of Cardiff Bay is now widely regarded as one of the most successful regeneration projects in the United Kingdom. The Bay is supplied by two rivers to form a freshwater lake round the...

. The Pritzker Prize
Pritzker Prize
The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually by the Hyatt Foundation to honour "a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built...

-winning architect Richard Rogers
Richard Rogers
Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside CH Kt FRIBA FCSD is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs....

 won the international competition to design the building. It was designed to be sustainable
Sustainable architecture
Sustainable architecture is a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world...

 with use of renewable technologies and be energy efficient. The building was awarded an "Excellent" certification by the Building Research Establishment
Building Research Establishment
The Building Research Establishment is a former UK government establishment that carries out research, consultancy and testing for the construction and built environment sectors in the United Kingdom...

 Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM
BREEAM
BRE Environmental Assessment Method is a voluntary measurement rating for green buildings that was established in the UK by the Building Research Establishment . Since its inception it has since grown in scope and geographically, being exported in various guises across the globe...

), the highest ever awarded in Wales, and was nominated for the 2006 Stirling Prize
Stirling Prize
The Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize is a British prize for excellence in architecture. It is named after the architect James Stirling, organised and awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects...

.

The Senedd was constructed in two phases, the first in 2001 and the second from August 2003 until it was handed over to the National Assembly in February 2006. Between phases, the National Assembly changed contractors and the project's management structure, but retained Rogers as the scheme architect. The building was nearly six times over budget and four years and 10 months late, compared to the original estimates of the project in 1997. Total costs rose due to unforeseen security measures after the September 11 attacks, and because the National Assembly did not have an independent cost appraisal of the project until December 2000, three years after the original estimate. Phase 2 costs rose by less than 6% over budget, and that phase was six months late, due to information and communication technology
Information and communication technologies
Information and communications technology or information and communication technology, usually abbreviated as ICT, is often used as an extended synonym for information technology , but is usually a more general term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of...

 (ICT) problems.

Architecture


The Senedd building is in the former Cardiff Docks
Cardiff Docks
Cardiff Docks is a port in south Cardiff, Wales. At its peak, the port was one of the largest dock systems in the world with a total quayage of almost...

, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle and Victorian architecture Gothic revival mansion, transformed from a Norman keep erected over a Roman fort in the Castle Quarter of Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The Castle is a Grade I Listed Building.-The Roman fort:...

. Cardiff Docks had been the largest coal-exporting port in the world, but by the 1980s with the decline of the south Wales coalfield
South Wales Coalfield
The South Wales Coalfield is a large region of south Wales that is rich with coal deposits, especially the South Wales Valleys.-The coalfield area:...

, the area had gradually become derelict. By the 1990s the area was being transformed with the construction of the Cardiff Bay Barrage
Cardiff Bay Barrage
The Cardiff Bay Barrage lies across the mouth of Cardiff Bay, Wales between Queen Alexandra Dock and Penarth Head. It was one of the largest civil engineering projects in Europe during construction in the 1990s.-History:...

 and had been renamed Cardiff Bay.

The building faces south west over Cardiff Bay, it has a glass façade
Facade
A facade or façade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face"....

 around the entire building and is dominated by a steel roof and wood ceiling. It has three floors, the first and second floors are accessible is to the public and the ground floor is a private area for officials. The building was designed to be as open and accessible as possible, the architects, the Richard Rogers Partnership
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is a British architectural firm. Established in 2007, it was previously known as the Richard Rogers Partnership....

 (RRP) said "The building was not to be an insular, closed edifice. Rather it would be a transparent envelope, looking outwards to Cardiff Bay and beyond, making visible the inner workings of the Assembly and encouraging public participation in the democratic process." The main area in the building is the debating chamber, called the Siambr, including a public viewing gallery. Other areas of the building are the Neuadd, which is the main reception area on the first floor and the Oriel on the second floor. The three committee rooms and the Cwrt are on the ground floor.

Environmental features


The design criteria required sustainability, including a design life of 100 years, the use of local Welsh materials, minimal energy consumption and waste, the use of renewable technologies and for it to be exemplar in terms of sustainability.

In total, 36% of all materials and labour costs were spent in Wales, with approximately 1,000 tonne
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

s (157,500 stone) of Welsh slate
Slate industry in Wales
The slate industry in Wales began during the Roman period when slate was used to roof the fort at Segontium, now Caernarfon. The slate industry grew slowly until the early 18th century, then expanded rapidly until the late 19th century, at which time the most important slate producing areas were in...

 used. The environmental features of the building have allowed energy savings of between 30% and 50% compared to buildings without these features. The features include 27 pipes that were drilled 100m below ground, so that during cold spells, water is pumped through the pipes and heated to 14°C by geothermal energy
Geothermal power
Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Thermal energy is the energy that determines the temperature of matter. Earth's geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet and from radioactive decay of minerals...

. The hot water is then pumped back up to the slate floor to warm the building to a constant temperature. In warm spells, the same system helps to keep the building cool. A biomass boiler was installed to use wood chips from recycled waste wood to heat the building, and rainwater is collected from the roof to flush the toilets in the building.

Interior and contents


The Siambr (Chamber; /ˈʃambr/) is a 610 m² (6,566 sq ft) debating chamber, which holds all 60 AMs in a circular configuration under the cowl. The Siambr can be increased to accommodate 80 AMs in the future, by removing temporary walls. On the level above, is the public viewing gallery, which looks down on the debating chamber and is separated by security glass. The public gallery holds 128 people on two rows of seats. The AMs desks and public gallery seating are made of Welsh oak in a circular configuration so that all AMs can see each other, which makes debating less confrontational.
In front of the Presiding Officer's
Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales
The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales is the Speaker of the National Assembly for Wales, elected by the Members of the National Assembly for Wales to chair their meetings ; to maintain order; and to protect the rights of Members.He or she also heads the Corporate Body of the...

 desk is the 1.3 metres (4.3 ft) ceremonial mace
Ceremonial mace
The ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high official in civic ceremonies by a mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority. The mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon...

. Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 goldsmith
Goldsmith
A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Since ancient times the techniques of a goldsmith have evolved very little in order to produce items of jewelry of quality standards. In modern times actual goldsmiths are rare...

 Fortunato Rocca was commissioned by the Parliament of New South Wales
Parliament of New South Wales
The Parliament of New South Wales, located in Parliament House on Macquarie Street, Sydney, is the main legislative body in the Australian state of New South Wales . It is a bicameral parliament elected by the people of the state in general elections. The parliament shares law making powers with...

 in 2002 to design it. The mace took 300 hours to craft and is made from gold, silver and brass. In 2006, it was worth around £10,500 (A$
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

25,000) and was handed over to the National Assembly during the opening ceremony.
All committee meetings are held in the three committee rooms, each can accommodate 24 people. Committee rooms 1 and 2 can be fully opened when they would hold 34 people. Members of the public can access the committee room viewing galleries from the Neuadd and holds 31 people.

The Neuadd (Hall
Hall
In architecture, a hall is fundamentally a relatively large space enclosed by a roof and walls. In the Iron Age, a mead hall was such a simple building and was the residence of a lord and his retainers...

; /ˈnəiað/) is an area that the public enter the building. This first floor level houses the public reception and information area. The reception desk features a large slate and glass desk and a canopy above it. Stairs to the left of the reception desk leads to the Oriel on the second floor.
The Oriel (Gallery from ; /ɔrjɛl/) is a public sitting and exhibition area, with views of the Siambr and committee rooms from above. The glass flooring, which surrounds the funnel, enables visitors to look down into the Siambr two floors below. The furnishings selected for the Neuadd and Oriel areas were from the Danish company, Fritz Hansen. The chairs used were Swan chairs, which were originally design by Arne Jacobsen
Arne Jacobsen
Arne Emil Jacobsen, usually known as Arne Jacobsen, was a Danish architect and designer. He is remembered for contributing so much to architectural Functionalism as well as for the worldwide success he enjoyed with simple but effective chair designs.-Early life and education:Arne Jacobsen was born...

 in 1958.

The Cwrt (Courtyard
Courtyard
A court or courtyard is an enclosed area, often a space enclosed by a building that is open to the sky. These areas in inns and public buildings were often the primary meeting places for some purposes, leading to the other meanings of court....

; /ˈkʊrt/) is an area on the ground floor including a members' tea room, a media briefing room, and provides access to the Siambr and committee rooms. It is a security controlled area and is accessible only to AMs, officials of the National Assembly and members of the press.

The undulating timber ceiling that spans across the various sections of the building was manufactured and installed by BCL Timber Projects (sub-contracted by Taylor Woodrow) and is made from Canadian sourced Western Redcedar
Thuja plicata
Thuja plicata, commonly called Western or pacific red cedar, giant or western arborvitae, giant cedar, or shinglewood, is a species of Thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae native to western North America...

.

Artwork


Four pieces of art were commissioned by the National Assembly to decorate and to be functional; they cost £300,000 in total. The Swansea
Swansea
Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands...

 based artist Alexander Beleschenko, designed and created the circular and domed Heart of Wales, which sits in the centre of the Siambr. It is 2 metres (6.6 ft) wide and made out of blue and gold glass, which is lit from beneath. Martin Richman designed and created 270 fabric-covered acoustic absorption panels, which were dyed and painted. American sculptor Danny Lane, designed and created the wind hedge, Assembly Field. It has five parallel rows of 32 glass plates and was designed to have a practical use of protecting the public from high winds coming off Cardiff Bay. Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

 born sculptor Richard Harris, created The Meeting Place on the Plinth, made from 39 machine-cut slate slabs weighing 45 tonnes from Cwt y Bugail Quarry
Cwt y Bugail Quarry
The Cwt y Bugail Quarry was a slate quarry located east of Blaenau Ffestiniog in Wales. It was first worked as a trial pit around 1840. Continuous production began in 1863 and continued until closure in 1961...

 in north Wales
North Wales
North Wales is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales. It is bordered to the south by the counties of Ceredigion and Powys in Mid Wales and to the east by the counties of Shropshire in the West Midlands and Cheshire in North West England...

. It is an informal seating area south of the building. Harris said of the work "I wanted to create a space that was to the side of the building, that related closely to the building but was very inviting for people to use – somewhere quieter that people could sit and spend some time."

First site selection process


Under the Act of Union of 1536 Wales was incorporated into England and administered as a single sovereign state (the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

) and legal system (English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

). It was not until 1964 that a Cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 post of the Secretary of State for Wales
Secretary of State for Wales
The Secretary of State for Wales is the head of the Wales Office within the British cabinet. He or she is responsible for ensuring Welsh interests are taken into account by the government, representing the government within Wales and overseeing the passing of legislation which is only for Wales...

 was created, which gave some powers to Wales. After the general election of 1997
United Kingdom general election, 1997
The United Kingdom general election, 1997 was held on 1 May 1997, more than five years after the previous election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party ended its 18 years in opposition under the leadership of Tony Blair, and won the general...

, the Labour Government
Premiership of Tony Blair
The Premiership of Tony Blair began on 2 May 1997 and ended on 27 June 2007. While serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Blair concurrently served as the First Lord of the Treasury, the Minister for the Civil Service, the Leader of the Labour Party , and a Member of Parliament for the...

 published a white paper
White paper
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to...

 in July 1997, called A Voice for Wales, in it, the UK Government proposed that, "(the Welsh Assembly
National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs...

) headquarters will be in Cardiff ... (the) setting up (of) the Assembly is likely to cost between £12M and £17M. Additional running costs should be between £15M and £20M a year." On 18 September 1997, Wales voted in favour of a National Assembly for Wales in the Welsh devolution referendum. The Government of Wales Act 1998
Government of Wales Act 1998
This is about the Act that set up the Welsh Assembly. For the newer Government of Wales Act 2006, see that article.The Government of Wales Act 1998 This is about the Act that set up the Welsh Assembly. For the newer Government of Wales Act 2006, see that article.The Government of Wales Act 1998...

 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, and was granted Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 on 31 July 1998.
Before the referendum took place, the Welsh Office
Welsh Office
The Welsh Office was a department in the Government of the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Wales. It was established in April 1965 to execute government policy in Wales, and was headed by the Secretary of State for Wales, a post which had been created in October 1964...

 asked Symonds Facilities Management (later known as Capita Symonds
Capita Symonds
Capita Symonds is part of the Capita Group.Capita Symonds is a large UK multidisciplinary consultancy operating in the building design, civil engineering, environment, management and transport sectors....

) to investigate possible sites for a new Welsh Assembly. The study was carried out in June 1997, and it considered 20 sites. By August 1997, the Welsh Office and the Property Advisors to the Civil Estate (now part of the Office of Government Commerce
Office of Government Commerce
The Office of Government Commerce is part of the Efficiency and Reform Group of the Cabinet Office, a department of the Government of the United Kingdom...

), produced a shortlist of five sites for selection
Site selection
Site Selection indicates the practice of new facility location, both for business and government. Site selection involves measuring the needs of a new project against the merits of potential locations...

; the Cathays Park Building
Crown Building, Cathays Park
The Crown Buildings aka Cathays Park Buildings, are the Welsh Government's main offices in Cardiff, Wales. The buildings were formerly used by the Welsh Office and are situated in Cathays Park...

 (the existing Welsh Office buildings), the Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay is the area created by the Cardiff Barrage in South Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The regeneration of Cardiff Bay is now widely regarded as one of the most successful regeneration projects in the United Kingdom. The Bay is supplied by two rivers to form a freshwater lake round the...

, a site next to County Hall
County Hall, Cardiff
The County Hall is the head office of Cardiff Council , located beside the disused Bute East Dock in the Atlantic Wharf area of Butetown, Cardiff.-Design and construction:...

 in Cardiff Bay, the former Glamorgan County Hall
Glamorgan Building
The Glamorgan Building is situated in Cardiff's prestigious civic centre in Cathays Park, on King Edward VII Avenue. Formerly the county hall of Glamorgan, the building was acquired by Cardiff University in 1997 and is now home to the School of Social Sciences and the School of City and Regional...

, Cathays Park
Cathays Park
In addition to the large lawn in front of the City Hall, Cathays Park includes three formal gardens. All of the spaces are within conservation areas and many of the surrounding buildings are listed. The open spaces are very important to the image of the city. Several important buildings overlook...

 and Cardiff City Hall, Cathays Park, owned by Cardiff Council
Cardiff Council
The County Council of the City and County of Cardiff is the governing body for Cardiff, one of the Principal Areas of Wales. The council consists of 75 councillors, representing 29 electoral wards. The authority is properly styled as The County Council of the City and County of Cardiff or in...

. In making their decision they considered the need for a space of 80000 square feet (7,432.2 m²) that would be ready to use by May 1999. The building was to be of appropriate stature, location and quality, good access for the disabled, good staff accommodation that would avoid disruption to existing staff.

From the five on the shortlist, two sites were considered, the Cathays Park Building and Cardiff City Hall. Cardiff City Hall was favoured because the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 and legislative
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 functions would be separated, Cardiff City Hall was more widely recognised by the Welsh public and was a more prestigious building compared with the Cathays Park Building. The move to Cardiff City Hall would have also avoided a disruptive move for Welsh Office staff at the Cathays Park Building. The Welsh Office concluded that Cardiff City Hall would only remain an option if the initial costs were £17M or less, which was the top end of the estimate figure given in the white paper. This would only be possible if essential works were carried out immediately and the remainder of the work carried out later. Cardiff Council would need to agree a selling price of £5M or less for this to be possible.

Discussions took place between the leader of Cardiff Council, Russell Goodway
Russell Goodway
Russell Goodway is a Welsh Labour Party councillor for Ely, Cardiff; and the former Lord Mayor of Cardiff and former CEO of Cardiff Chamber of Commerce....

, and the Secretary of State for Wales, Ron Davies, Member of Parliament (MP)
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

. The two disagreed on the valuation of the site, Davies offered what was believed to be the market price of GB£3.5M, Goodway demanded £14M for the relocation of Council staff. In October 1997, both the Welsh Office and Cardiff Council agreed to the District Valuer providing an independent assessment of the market value of Cardiff City Hall and the cost of staff relocating to an equivalent standard of accommodation. The District Valuer advised that the open market value of Cardiff City Hall was £3.5M. There was not enough information available for the District Valuer to make a decision. A bid of £2.5M was made by the Welsh Office on 14 November 1997, which was rejected on 21 November 1997. A final offer of £3.5M was made on 24 November and this too was rejected by Cardiff County Council. Davies later announced his decision not to go ahead with the Cardiff City Hall site for the National Assembly.

Second site selection process


In December 1997, the Welsh Office invited proposals from Wales for the National Assembly building. 24 proposals were received, 14 came from the private sector and government-owned corporation
Government-owned corporation
A government-owned corporation, state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, or parastatal is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government...

s including HTV Group, Grosvenor Waterside (owned by Associated British Ports
Associated British Ports Holdings
Associated British Ports Holdings Ltd owns and operates 21 ports in the United Kingdom, managing around 25 per cent of the UK's sea-borne trade...

), Tarmac Developments
Tarmac (company)
Tarmac is a company that is based in Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom and operates internationally. The company produces aggregates and road-surfacing materials, including tarmacadam, from which the company's name is derived...

, Cardiff Bay Development Corporation
Cardiff Bay Development Corporation
The Cardiff Bay Development Corporation was set up by the United Kingdom Government on 3 April 1987 to redevelop of one sixth of the area of Cardiff to create Cardiff Bay.-Objectives:...

 and Cardiff Airport. Nine local authorities in Wales made proposals including the Guildhall proposed by Swansea Council, Cardiff City Hall by Cardiff Council
Cardiff Council
The County Council of the City and County of Cardiff is the governing body for Cardiff, one of the Principal Areas of Wales. The council consists of 75 councillors, representing 29 electoral wards. The authority is properly styled as The County Council of the City and County of Cardiff or in...

, Margam Castle
Margam Castle
Margam Castle is a large mansion house built in Margam, Port Talbot, Wales, for the Talbot family. It was built on a site which had been occupied for some 4000 years and from the 11th century was an abbey. The "castle" is actually a comfortable Victorian era country house, one of many "mock" or...

 by Neath Port Talbot Council
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council is the local governing body for Neath Port Talbot. It is currently controlled by the Labour party, under the leadership of Councillor Alun Thomas, who succeeded Derek Vaughan when he became an MEP in May 2009....

, Cyfarthfa Castle
Cyfarthfa Castle
Cyfarthfa Castle is the former home of the Crawshay family, historical ironmasters of Cyfarthfa Ironworks in Park, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. Despite appearing superficially to be a fortified building it is a house built in the style of a large mansion...

 by Merthyr Tydfil Council
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is the governing body for Merthyr Tydfil, one of the Principal Areas of Wales.-Political makeup:Elections take place every four years. The last election was 1 May 2008.- Current composition :-Electoral divisions:...

, proposals also came from Wrexham Council
Wrexham County Borough Council
Wrexham County Borough Council is the governing body for Wrexham , one of the administrative subdivisions of Wales.- Governance and political composition :...

, Flintshire County Council
Flintshire County Council
Flintshire County Council is the governing body of the principal area of Flintshire , one of the administrative subdivisions of Wales.-Political makeup:...

 who proposed two sites at Ewloe
Ewloe
Ewloe is a small town in North Wales, contiguous with Hawarden and Buckley and near to Queensferry and Shotton. Situated close to the Flintshire/Cheshire sector of the Wales-England border, Ewloe forms part of Deeside. The A55 expressway passes through the town and its most notable landmark is...

 and Mold
Mold, Flintshire
Mold is a town in Flintshire, North Wales, on the River Alyn. It is the administrative seat of Flintshire County Council, and was also the county town of Clwyd from 1974 to 1996...

, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council is the governing body for Rhondda Cynon Taf, one of the Principal Areas of Wales. The council headquarters are located in the town of Tonypandy.- Current composition :- Historic results :...

, Powys County Council
Powys County Council
Powys County Council is the governing body for Powys, one of the administrative areas of Wales. It has three area committees — one for each of Brecknockshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire to which the council delegates its functions. The council offices are located in Llandrindod...

 and five sites from Bridgend Council
Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council is the governing body for Bridgend County Borough, one of the Principal Areas of Wales.- Current composition :-Electoral divisions:...

 The Grosvenor Waterside proposal, known as Capital Waterside, included the Pierhead Building
Pierhead Building
The Pierhead Building is a Grade 1 listed building of the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff Bay, Wales. It stands as one of the city of Cardiff's most familiar landmarks and was built in 1897 as the headquarters for the Bute Dock Company....

, Crickhowell House and Site 1E, which would become the site of the new debating chamber.
All the proposals were reviewed by the Welsh Office, who rejected sites due to poor location, accommodation or cost. A shortlist of ten sites were further reviewed, they were; Capital Waterside (now known as Cardiff Waterside), Cardiff City Hall, a site next to County Hall
County Hall, Cardiff
The County Hall is the head office of Cardiff Council , located beside the disused Bute East Dock in the Atlantic Wharf area of Butetown, Cardiff.-Design and construction:...

, Bute Square (now known as Callaghan Square), Prospect Place, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Kingsway and the Coal Exchange all in Cardiff, with the HTV site at Culverhouse Cross
Culverhouse Cross
Culverhouse Cross is suburban district in the west of Cardiff, capital of Wales, lying on the border with the Vale of Glamorgan.The busy Culverhouse Cross roundabout is an important part of the primary road network to the west of the city and connects the A4232 , the A4050 , and...

, and the Guildhall in Swansea
Swansea
Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands...

.

Davies announced on 13 March 1998 that the new National Assembly building would be in Cardiff. He said that the Cardiff proposals were "too compelling to resist", because "in making this decision, I am mindful that Wales has invested 40 years in promoting Cardiff as our capital city." The National Assembly building would be either in Bute Square or Capital Waterside. The Welsh Office decided that the Capital Waterside proposal carried less risk and would cost less than the Bute Square proposal. Capital Waterside would cost £43.9M, while Bute Square would cost £52.5M. On 28 April 1998, Davies announced that the site of the National Assembly building would be Capital Waterside. The site was acquired by the National Assembly from Grosvenor Waterside Investments Ltd, which was owned by Associated British Ports
Associated British Ports Holdings
Associated British Ports Holdings Ltd owns and operates 21 ports in the United Kingdom, managing around 25 per cent of the UK's sea-borne trade...

. The agreement covered extending the lease of Crickhowell House, later known as Tŷ Hywel, until 2023, renting the Pierhead Building for 15 years and purchasing Site 1E for £1, which would be where the Senedd was built.

Design selection process


Before deciding on Capital Waterside as the site of the National Assembly, Davies announced on 13 March 1998, that an international competition would be held to select the design of the building for the debating chamber. The Royal Institute of British Architects
Royal Institute of British Architects
The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally.-History:...

 (RIBA) would oversee the competition and a design panel would recommend a design to the Secretary of State for Wales. The Design Competition Advisory Panel was made up of seven members and was chaired by Lord Callaghan of Cardiff
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

, the former MP for Cardiff South and Penarth and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

. The chair and four members were appointed by Davies and the remaining two members were appointed by the RIBA. The competition was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Communities
Official Journal of the European Union
The Official Journal of the European Union is the official gazette of record for the European Union . It is published every working day in all of the official languages of the member states. Only legal acts published in the Official Journal are binding.It was first published on 30 December 1952 as...

 on 13 June 1998.

Davies wanted a building "to capture the imagination of the Welsh people." The criteria of the competition was that the building should have a functional specification and a price tag of no more than £12M including fees. In total, 55 architects had shown interest in the project, nine came from Wales, 38 coming from the rest of the UK and the remaining eight from the rest of the world. The Design Competition Advisory Panel selected 12 architects for interview in August 1998, from those a shortlist of six architects were chosen to submit concept designs, they were: Benson & Forsyth
Benson & Forsyth
Benson & Forsyth is a British architectural partnership, whose principal architects are Gordon Benson and Alan Forysth. Their offices are in Islington, London, although they formerly also had a small office in Edinburgh. They were nominated for the Stirling Prize in 1999 and 2002 for the Museum...

, Eric Parry Associates, Niels Torp
Niels Torp
Niels Torp AS is an architectural firm based in Oslo, Norway. The company is named after the founder, Niels Torp.-Works:* Scandinavian Airlines Head Office * Waterside...

 and Stride Treglown Davies, Richard Rogers Partnership (now known as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is a British architectural firm. Established in 2007, it was previously known as the Richard Rogers Partnership....

), Itsuko Hasegawa Atelier
Itsuko Hasegawa
is a noted Japanese architect.-Biography:Hasegawa was born in Shizuoka, received her degree in architecture from Kanto Gakuin University , trained with Kiyonori Kikutake. In 1969, Hasegawa entered Kazuo Shinohara’s lab at the Tokyo Institute of Technology as a graduate student...

 and Kajima Design Europe, and MacCormac Jamieson Prichard.
Each architect submitted designs by 5 October 1998, 10 days later the Design Competition Advisory Panel met and unanimous recommended that the Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP) design should be selected. Davies announced RRP as the scheme architects on 16 October 1998. Richard Rogers said "The idea was that steps rise out of the water and there is a whole public domain where people meet each other and look down on the Assembly Members." Richard Rogers had previously designed the Lloyd's building
Lloyd's building
The Lloyd's building is the home of the insurance institution Lloyd's of London, and is located at 1, Lime Street, in the City of London, England.-Design:...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and the Pompidou Centre
Centre Georges Pompidou
Centre Georges Pompidou is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 with Renzo Piano
Renzo Piano
Renzo Piano is an Italian architect. He is the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, AIA Gold Medal, Kyoto Prize and the Sonning Prize...

. 11 days later, Davies resigned as Secretary of State for Wales.

It was planned that the outline design would be completed by June 1999, and have a detailed design completed by February 2000. Construction of the building was due to begin in November 2000 and be completed in April 2001. On 1 July 1999, The National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 came into effect, this transferred all powers from the Secretary of State for Wales
Secretary of State for Wales
The Secretary of State for Wales is the head of the Wales Office within the British cabinet. He or she is responsible for ensuring Welsh interests are taken into account by the government, representing the government within Wales and overseeing the passing of legislation which is only for Wales...

 to the National Assembly for Wales, responsibility for the construction of the debating chamber transferred at the same time. Cardiff Council granted planning permission
Planning permission
Planning permission or planning consent is the permission required in the United Kingdom in order to be allowed to build on land, or change the use of land or buildings. Within the UK the occupier of any land or building will need title to that land or building , but will also need "planning...

 for the building on 8 November 1999 and by 26 January 2000 the National Assembly voted in favour of progressing the project onto the next stage.

First phase of construction


Rhodri Morgan
Rhodri Morgan
Hywel Rhodri Morgan is a Welsh Labour politician who, as First Secretary for Wales, and subsequently First Minister, was leader of the Welsh Assembly Government from 2000 to 2009. A former leader of Welsh Labour, he was the Assembly Member for Cardiff West from 1999 to 2011...

, Assembly Member (AM) replaced Alun Michael
Alun Michael
Alun Edward Michael is a British Labour Co-operative politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Cardiff South and Penarth since 1987. He was formerly First Minister of Wales and leader of the Welsh Labour Party from 1999 to 2000.-Education:Michael was born at Bryngwran Anglesey, son of...

 AM, to become the First Secretary (now known as the First Minister
First Minister for Wales
The First Minister of Wales is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration, which was established in 1999. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; policy development and coordination; relationships with the...

) of the National Assembly on 15 February 2000. On 22 March, Morgan stopped all work on the project to carry out a complete review. The decision to stop the project was supported by a vote in the National Assembly on 6 April 2000. The review included the costs and construction risks of the new building, the timetable for the completion of the project and consideration of possible alternatives to the new building.

The review was carried out by the Assembly's Management Services Division, the Property Advisors to the Civil Estate and Symonds Group Ltd. They considered the following options, cancel the project, continue with the existing design, design a building on Site 1E, improve the existing debating chamber, construct a small one in the courtyard of Crickhowell House, and relocate to Cardiff City Hall. On 21 June 2000 it was agreed that the original proposal using the RRP design should proceed.
An international competition was held to select the main contractor. It was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Community, and in December 2000 Skanska
Skanska
Skanska AB, is a multinational construction and development company based in Sweden, where it also is the largest construction company. The company's head office is in Solna, north of Stockholm.-History:...

 Ltd was selected as the main contractor. Edwina Hart
Edwina Hart
Edwina Hart, MBE, AM is a Welsh Labour politician who has represented the constituency of Gower since the National Assembly for Wales was established in 1999. Hart was appointed Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government in May 2007.-Background:Hart was born and raised in...

 AM, the Minister for Finance, Local Government and Communities, approved the final project design on 18 January 2001 and by 1 March 2001, the groundbreaking
Groundbreaking
Groundbreaking, also known as cutting, sod-cutting, turning the first sod or a sod-turning ceremony, is a traditional ceremony in many cultures that celebrates the first day of construction for a building or other project. Such ceremonies are often attended by dignitaries such as politicians and...

 ceremony took place to mark the beginning of construction.

Six months after construction had begun and with only the piling
Deep foundation
A deep foundation is a type of foundation distinguished from shallow foundations by the depth they are embedded into the ground. There are many reasons a geotechnical engineer would recommend a deep foundation over a shallow foundation, but some of the common reasons are very large design loads, a...

 and a temporary road around the site having been completed,
Hart announced on 17 July 2001 that the National Assembly had terminated the contract of RRP. She said that despite the termination of the contract, the debating chamber should still be built to RRP’s design. RRP said of the project that "From the outset, RRP has advised that the project could not be built within a construction budget of £13.1M due to client changes, the political requirement to use indigenous materials at any cost and exceptional contractor changes. RRP's advice was consistently ignored. It is plainly untrue for the Finance Minister to assert that RRP underestimated the costs." Hart said she stopped the project because of the "significant underestimates in the cost plan prepared by RRP", and that RRP "had hidden costs from the Assembly".

A legal dispute then arose between RRP claiming £529,000 in fees, and the National Assembly claiming £6.85M in damages. On 10 December 2001 RRP requested an appointment of an adjudicator from the Construction Industry Council
Construction Industry Council
The Construction Industry Council is the representative body for the professional bodies, research organizations and specialist business associations in the construction industry in the United Kingdom...

 to resolve the issue. The adjudication took place in February 2002, and ruled that RRP was entitled to £448,000 of its claim, while the National Assembly was not entitled to any of the damages they had claimed.

Second phase of construction


In August 2001, the National Assembly appointed Francis Graves Ltd as the project managers, to review the whole project up until the termination of the RRP contract and to propose how the project should progress in the future. They reported that the "lines of accountability were complex and insufficiently clear", that no project costs were obtained by the National Assembly, independent of RRP, until December 2000, and that the project "was highly susceptible to cost over runs". The report recommended that the National Assembly appoint project managers, which they did when they appointed Schal International Management Ltd (part of Carillion) in May 2002. Northcroft Group Ltd were appointed as a subcontractor, responsible for cost management and they reported directly to Schal. Schal had full responsibility to manage the main contractor and subcontractors. Schal reported to a Project Board, who reported to the Minister for Finance, Local Government and Communities. The Project Board was made up of National Assembly and Welsh Government officials and a representative from Schal.

The Welsh Government decided that a design and build
Design-Build
Design-build is a project delivery system used in the construction industry. It is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the design–builder or design–build contractor...

 fixed-price contract would be used for the second phase of construction, while phase one of construction made time the important factor over cost certainty. The overall aim was to "deliver a landmark building…to time, to an appropriate quality and within budget". On 23 October 2002 an invitation to tender was issued through the Official Journal of the European Community. Eight companies submitted an interest in the tender process, including Taylor Woodrow, David McLean, Laing and Skanska, of these only David McLean and the Taylor Woodrow Strategic Alliance Partnership with RRP as a subcontractor, submitted tenders. David McLean’s tender did not comply with the tender requirements, so the Assembly Government negotiated a fixed-price contract with Taylor Woodrow for £48.2M. The contract was signed between Taylor Woodrow and the First Minister
First Minister for Wales
The First Minister of Wales is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration, which was established in 1999. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; policy development and coordination; relationships with the...

 on 1 July 2003 and construction began for a second time on 4 August 2003.
The topping out
Topping out
In building construction, topping out is a ceremony held when the last beam is placed at the top of a building. The term may also refer to the overall completion of the building's structure, or an intermediate point, such as when the roof is dried in...

 ceremony took place on 25 November 2004 by the Presiding Officer
Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales
The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales is the Speaker of the National Assembly for Wales, elected by the Members of the National Assembly for Wales to chair their meetings ; to maintain order; and to protect the rights of Members.He or she also heads the Corporate Body of the...

, Dafydd Elis-Thomas
Dafydd Elis-Thomas
Dafydd Elis Elis-Thomas, Baron Elis-Thomas, PC, AM, is a Welsh politician and was the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales until 2011...

, Privy Counsellor (PC), AM, which included the lifting into place of the world's largest free rotating wind driven cowl
Cowl (chimney)
A cowl is a usually hood-shaped covering used to increase the draft of a chimney and prevent backflow. The cowl, usually made of galvanized iron, is fitted to the chimney pot to prevent wind blowing the smoke back down into the room beneath...

, which was the tallest point of the building. The cowl sits 6 metres (19.7 ft) above the roof line and rotates when the wind changes direction to ventilate the debating chamber. Construction of the Senedd ended on 7 February 2006 when the National Assembly took control of the building. The project was six months late, due to the National Assembly not producing a detailed specification on time. The 10 year ICT contract, known as Merlin, was between the National Assembly and Siemens Business Services Ltd, now known as Siemens IT Solutions and Services. Other subcontractors on the project included Arup
Arup
Arup is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom which provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment. The firm is present in Africa, the Americas, Australasia, East Asia, Europe and the...

 (structural engineers), BDSP Partnership and MJN Colston (services engineers), and BCL Timber Projects (timber ceiling).
The 5308 m² (57,134.8 sq ft) Senedd building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, the Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

 and the Duchess of Cornwall on 1 March 2006 (St. David's Day
Saint David's Day
Saint David's Day is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on 1 March each year. The date of 1 March was chosen in remembrance of the death of Saint David. Tradition holds that he died on that day in 589...

). After an address by the Queen, the Parliament of New South Wales
Parliament of New South Wales
The Parliament of New South Wales, located in Parliament House on Macquarie Street, Sydney, is the main legislative body in the Australian state of New South Wales . It is a bicameral parliament elected by the people of the state in general elections. The parliament shares law making powers with...

 presented a ceremonial mace
Ceremonial mace
The ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high official in civic ceremonies by a mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority. The mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon...

 to the National Assembly to recognise the links between Wales and New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

. Addresses were later given by John Price MP
John Price (New South Wales politician)
John Charles Price is an Australian politician, elected as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.Price was born in Mayfield, New South Wales. He was previously a marine engineer, a public servant and an engineering/marketing consultant...

, the Deputy Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
The Legislative Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of New South Wales, an Australian state. The other chamber is the Legislative Council. Both the Assembly and Council sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney...

, Morgan and Elis-Thomas. A set of commemorative envelopes and postmark
Postmark
thumb|USS TexasA postmark is a postal marking made on a letter, package, postcard or the like indicating the date and time that the item was delivered into the care of the postal service...

s were issued by the Royal Mail
Royal Mail
Royal Mail is the government-owned postal service in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail Holdings plc owns Royal Mail Group Limited, which in turn operates the brands Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide...

 to mark the opening of the Senedd, in the form of a souvenir sheet
Miniature sheet
A souvenir sheet or miniature sheet is a small group of postage stamps still attached to the sheet on which they were printed. They may be either regular issues that just happen to be printed in small groups , or special issues often commemorating some event, such as a national anniversary,...

.

Two years after the opening ceremony in 2008, Taylor Woodrow Construction were fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £71,400, after being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive
Health and Safety Executive
The Health and Safety Executive is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom. It is the body responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in England and Wales and Scotland...

 for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Cardiff Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court is a historic building situated in Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales. The building is a Grade I listed building. The Crown Court is part of the Wales Circuit of Her Majesty's Courts Service.-External links:*...

. The breach contributed to the death of John Walsh, a foreman working for Ferson Construction Services Ltd, a subcontractor of Taylor Woodrow. The accident occurred on 14 March 2004 and was due to a cavity wall that Mr Walsh was filling, collapsing on him, even though Taylor Woodrow Construction had recognised the risks before the contract had begun. Judge Neil Bidder QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

 said "No-one seriously disputes it was an unsafe construction and Ferson (Construction Services) must share blame for that construction."

Timeline of cost increases and time delays


The cost of the Senedd increased from £12M in 1997 to £69.6M in 2006, an increase of 580%. In a report published in March 2008 by the Wales Audit Office
Wales Audit Office
The Wales Audit Office is an independent public body which was established by the National Assembly for Wales on 1 April 2005. It has overall responsibility for auditing on behalf of the Auditor General for Wales, across all sectors of government in Wales, except those reserved to the UK...

, the reason for the difference between the two costs were that the original estimate of £12M was not based on any detailed design of the final requirements of the building. Extra costs of the building were due to unforeseen security measures after the September 11 attacks in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

After the project was stopped in 2001, the contract for the construction of the second phase of the building used a fixed-price design and build contract, which meant that the National Assembly had a much tighter control of costs than they had in the first phase.
Construction
period
Date Cost Estimated
completion date
Notes
Phase 1
including
selection
processes
July 1997 c£12M April 2001 The first estimate by the Welsh Office in the A Voice for Wales white paper.
16 October 1998 £11.6M (total)
£8.4M (construction)
RRP estimated cost at time of the design selection process.
January 2000 £22.8M Revised estimate by RRP after changes to the design of the building by the National Assembly.
March 2000 £26.7M January 2003 Estimate produced by Turner and Townsend for the National Assembly.
May 2001 £37M – £47M (total)
£28M (construction)
Estimate from a 3 day workshop by the National Assembly and all contractors involved in the project.
Phase 2
September 2001 July 2004
January 2003 £29.3M (construction) Estimate from Taylor Woodrow, Schal and Northcroft, which was based on an incomplete design.
30 May 2003 £41M (construction) August 2005 Tender submission by the Taylor Woodrow Strategic Alliance Partnership after value engineering
Value engineering
Value engineering is a systematic method to improve the "value" of goods or products and services by using an examination of function. Value, as defined, is the ratio of function to cost. Value can therefore be increased by either improving the function or reducing the cost...

.
July 2003 £66.1M (total)
£48.2M (construction)
The final construction lump sum offer made by the Taylor Woodrow Strategic Alliance Partnership.
7 February 2006 £69.6M (total)
£49.7M (construction)
Completion date The total project cost, including £7.5M from phase 1.
1 March 2006
(Royal opening ceremony)
The project was 580% over budget compared with the original budget forecast in April 1997 (phase 1) and was four years and 10 months late.
The project was 5.5% over budget from the lump sum offer made by Taylor Woodrow in July 2003 (phase 2) and was six months late due to ICT problems.
Sources: National Audit Office Wales
Wales Audit Office
The Wales Audit Office is an independent public body which was established by the National Assembly for Wales on 1 April 2005. It has overall responsibility for auditing on behalf of the Auditor General for Wales, across all sectors of government in Wales, except those reserved to the UK...

, Accommodation Arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales and Wales Audit Office
Wales Audit Office
The Wales Audit Office is an independent public body which was established by the National Assembly for Wales on 1 April 2005. It has overall responsibility for auditing on behalf of the Auditor General for Wales, across all sectors of government in Wales, except those reserved to the UK...

, The Senedd


In 2008, two years after the Senedd was opened, the cost of repairs to the building had reached £97,709. Repairs have been for windows, doors, plumbing and electrics. A spokesman for the National Assembly said, "The repair figures are not excessive for a public building that has hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The costs are within estimated levels and covered by existing budgets."

National Assembly estate in Cardiff Bay


The Senedd is part of the National Assembly estate in Cardiff Bay, along with Tŷ Hywel (Howell House) and the Grade 1 listed Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay. Tŷ Hywel houses staff of the Assembly Commission
Assembly Commission
The National Assembly for Wales Commission is the corporate body for the National Assembly for Wales. The Commission is responsible for ensuring the property, staff and services are provided for the Assembly...

, AMs, the First Minister and other ministers. Tŷ Hywel is named after Hywel Dda
Hywel Dda
Hywel Dda , was the well-thought-of king of Deheubarth in south-west Wales, who eventually came to rule Wales from Prestatyn to Pembroke. As a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, through his father Cadell, Hywel was a member of the Dinefwr branch of the dynasty and is also named Hywel ap Cadell...

 (Howell the Good), King of Deheubarth in South West Wales
South West Wales
South West Wales is a region of Wales. A definition consisting of the unitary authorities of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire is used by a number of government agencies and private organisations including:*BBC...

. On 26 June 2008, the Prince of Wales officially opened Siambr Hywel, the National Assembly's youth debating chamber and education centre. It is based in the debating chamber that was used by the National Assembly between 1999 and 2006, while the Senedd was being constructed. Two covered link bridges connect the Senedd to Tŷ Hywel. Construction of the link bridges began in September 2004 and they were completed by December 2005.

The Pierhead Building was opened in 1897 and designed by William Frame. It was originally the headquarters of the Bute Dock Company
Cardiff Railway
The Cardiff Railway came into being from the need to service Bute Docks, so as to provide facilities for the traffic to and from the Docks. The railway was only 11 miles in length, a fact which belied its importance, since it provided both the Taff Vale Railway and the Rhymney Railway, inter alia,...

 and by 1947 it was the administrative office for the Port of Cardiff. The building was reopened in May 2001 as 'The Assembly at the Pierhead', which was a visitor and education centre for the National Assembly. The exhibition provided visitors with information on the National Assembly. On 1 March 2010, the building was again reopened to the public as a Welsh history museum and exhibition.
In 2008, Elis-Thomas announced that the Pierhead Building would display the history of the black community in Butetown
Butetown
Butetown is a community in the south of the city of Cardiff, the capital of Wales. It was originally a model housing estate built in the early nineteenth century by John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute, for whose title the area was named...

, Cardiff Docks
Cardiff Docks
Cardiff Docks is a port in south Cardiff, Wales. At its peak, the port was one of the largest dock systems in the world with a total quayage of almost...

 and Welsh devolution.

Nominations and awards

  • Nominated for the 2006 Stirling Prize
    Stirling Prize
    The Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize is a British prize for excellence in architecture. It is named after the architect James Stirling, organised and awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects...

     awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects
    Royal Institute of British Architects
    The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally.-History:...

    . The award was won by Terminal 4, Barajas Airport, Madrid
    Madrid
    Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

    , also an RRP design.
  • Nominated for the 2006 Prime Minister’s
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

     Better Public Building Award.
  • Listed as Architects' Journal's top 50 favourite buildings.
  • Awarded "Excellent" certification by BREEAM
    BREEAM
    BRE Environmental Assessment Method is a voluntary measurement rating for green buildings that was established in the UK by the Building Research Establishment . Since its inception it has since grown in scope and geographically, being exported in various guises across the globe...

    , the highest ever awarded in Wales.
  • Awarded Major Project of the Year in the 2006 Building Services Awards, organised by Building Sustainable Design and Electrical and Mechanical Contractor magazines.
  • Awarded the 2006 Gold Medal winner from the National Eisteddfod of Wales
    National Eisteddfod of Wales
    The National Eisteddfod of Wales is the most important of several eisteddfodau that are held annually, mostly in Wales.- Organisation :...

    .
  • Awarded the Slate Award in the 2006 Natural Stone Awards.
  • Awarded the 2006 Structural Steel Design Award.
  • Awarded the 2006 Excellence on the Waterfront from the Waterfront Center, in the category Commercial and Mixed Use.
  • Civic Trust
    Civic Trust
    The Civic Trust of England was a charitable organisation founded in 1957. It ceased operations in 2009 and went into administration due to lack of funds/...

     Award winner in 2008.
  • Awarded a Chicago Athenaeum 2007 International Architecture Awards
    International Architecture Awards
    The International Architecture Awards are considered the world's most prestigious global awards for new architecture, landscape architecture, interiors and urban planning. The program was launched by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design in 2005 to honour and celebrate the most...

    .

See also

  • Politics of Wales
    Politics of Wales
    Politics in Wales forms a distinctive polity in the wider politics of the United Kingdom, with Wales as one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom....

  • Senedd on television
    Senedd on television
    The Senedd houses the debating chamber and committee rooms for the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff, Wales. Since the Senedd opened on 1 March 2006, there have been many occasions of the Senedd on television, the most notable being the regular screening of live proceedings from the National...

  • Welsh Assembly building (British postage stamps)
    Welsh assembly building (British Postage Stamps)
    The Royal Mail celebrated the opening of the new Welsh Assembly building with a new miniature sheet. The building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 1 March 2006 .-Stamp Details:...

  • Cost overrun
    Cost overrun
    A cost overrun, also known as a cost increase or budget overrun, is an unexpected cost incurred in excess of a budgeted amount due to an under-estimation of the actual cost during budgeting...


External links